Another Suicide

by Billy the Ex-Bethelite 67 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite


    There wouldn't have been any good way to hear the news I suppose. It's just so strange to recall the conversation yesterday. My "still in" parents are with me and my inactive sister having a pleasant conversation. After a pause, Mom asks me, "You knew NG from the neighboring congregation?"

    "Of course. How's he doing?" I ask.

    Mom: "He committed suicide a few weeks ago."

    I immediately burst into tears.

    As much as I prepare for anything that might come up in conversation with my parents, I wasn't prepared for that. NG and I had been in bethel together for over a decade. Although we didn't work together or have the same congregation, we had many friends in common and would always laugh a lot when we did get to socialize. He was the kind of nice, friendly, funny guy that was just really likeable.

    I can't remember the timeline exactly between when he got married and I left bethel. But he and his wife continued in bethel for a few years. It was after I'd started posting here that I'd heard that he had moved nearby. Since I was starting to plan my fade and I was already so busy, I didn't put much effort into reconnecting with him. But we did get to visit a few times and talk about post-bethel life. He knew that I'd left because of depression and I'd told him about the hardships of my work after leaving. He didn't give a lot of specifics, but it seemed that they'd been asked to leave in the ongoing bethel purge. Knowing his circumstances, I knew it was going to be tough for them coming out into a terrible economy, but if I could handle it, I knew he could.

    The last time we visited, I filled him in on my removal as an elder and my plans to go to uni. He filled me in on what was going on with them and some of our friends in common. I sure didn't imagine that it was the last time I'd see him before he would take his life.

    Now looking back I feel like I should have seen or asked or cared more. He probably had to settle for the first sh!tty job after bethel he could find because you leave with no unemployment, no real references. I think he and his wife were living with someone else and probably had no insurance. He went to a congregation that was just recovering from serious problems. I remember going through a lot of that stuff. It was certainly depressing for me. But there's no going back to try to save him. It's just so sad.

    Mom and Dad didn't have much any other details than that he'd evidently stopped taking medication for depression. We speculated that he couldn't afford the pills he needed or the expense of going to a psychiatrist for treatment. And they don't know what his widow's plans are.

    Of course, Mom apologized for breaking the news so indelicately. She didn't realize that I'd known him so well.

    As if that news wasn't shocking enough, they told me that a friend of his, another brother in the same congregation, committed suicide a couple weeks later. His memorial service was just a few days ago. I didn't really know this brother well, but news of any suicide is, and will probably always be something very painful for me to hear.

    That makes a sad total of 8 JW men that I've known who have committed suicide, including 2 ex-bethelites. Maybe it's time for me to stop keeping count, but I just can't forget them.

  • C.O.B.E.Beef

    William the X- Im so sorry, Ive lost several good witness friends to suicide as well. Wondering what I could have done different was always my first thought too.

    Your posts have always meant alot to me. Keep your head up.

  • tootired2care

    So sorry to hear that Billy, that's just tragic.

  • Iown Mylife
    Iown Mylife

    The terrible lies are death-dealing.

    One time a family member of mine saw a neighbor stumble out of his back door and lay down in the yard. After that he didn't move. The police told that he died. The neighbor's family came and told that he had been so cheerful and well the last time they saw him. His belongings were packed so neatly when they went in.

    Point being, he made a plan and they would not have been able to stop him from choosing to pass on.

    It is so extremely painful and sad to realize a friend was feeling so bad, but don't pile guilt on to yourself, dear forum friends.

  • laverite

    Billy, I am so very sorry to hear this. What a very sad thing to learn. I am really, really sorry.

  • ABibleStudent

    I'm sorry that your friend was so depressed to take his life, Billy the Ex-Bethelite. Your friend can live on in your memories of the good times that you shared with him.

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,


  • Amelia Ashton
    Amelia Ashton

    So sorry for your loss, Billy.

  • talesin

    This is so very sad to read. I've been through it several times; the first was one of my pioneer partners, 17 and gay, he hung himself ... that was what made me see how wrong the religion is; the last being only a few years ago. The guilt was large with him, because he had told me several months before that if things didn't work out he would suicide on April 1. At the time, I was going through surgeries and quite ill. My second surgery was March 30, he did the deed on April 1. I felt so guilty that I had not been in touch for several months. It's a heavy burden, but ultimately, and with the help of a therapist I was seeing, I had to realize that it was not my fault. I hope you can get there, and soon. Maybe a bit of grief counselling would be in order? My heart is with you.




  • JW GoneBad
    JW GoneBad

    Wow! Billy, thanks for sharing. I don't know what to say .......but.......sorry!

    It's truly sad to hear when someone takes his own life, especially if the individual was a friend. I'm so sorry!

  • Heartofaboy

    So sorry to read your post Billy.

    Please don't beat yourself up over 'If only I did this or If only I had done that'.

    I also value & enjoy your posts on this forum very much.

    Hoab ((((Billy))))

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